Updated: Jul 24, 2022
We all end up with leftovers after the Christmas festivities and it's the inevitable conundrum as to what to do with them - apart from a sandwich. A pie for me is the simplest and easiest way to use up so many bits and bobs in the fridge, and also the yummiest!
My suggestion for a veggie version is also below, as well as a few other help tips and tricks to use up any festive food. Also, feel free to buy shop-bought pastry (puff or shortcrust) it works just as well!
Serves: 4-6 people
Time: 1-2 hours
Turkey & Ham Filling
300ml of leftover gravy or stock
500g of shredded cold turkey meat (OR use chopped roast potatoes, cauliflower, parsnips)
200g of diced cold ham (OR use diced cooked sprouts and/or 100g of grated cheddar)
1 large leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp cornflour, dissolved in water
200ml cream, optional
100ml white wine, optional
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
olive oil or butter
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
pinch of fine salt
125g chilled diced butter
1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
Preheat your oven to 200C/180Cfan and put a baking tray in the middle rack of the oven to heat.
For the pastry, put the flour and butter in a food processor and blend on the pulse setting until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running, add the water and blend until the mixture forms a ball. Portion off 250g pastry for the lid, wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge.
Roll the remaining pastry out on a lightly floured surface, turning the pastry frequently until around 5mm and 4cm larger than the pie dish. I like to use a 22cm aluminium tart dish with a removable springform base.
Lift the pastry over the rolling pin and place it gently into the pie dish. Press the pastry firmly up the sides, making sure there are no air bubbles or holes. Cut away the excess pastry overhanging the sides, prick the base and blind bake with some greaseproof paper and pastry beans for 30 mins.
Take off the beans and paper and bake for a further 5-10 mins until just browning. Take out and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, melt butter or olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and over a medium heat gently fry the leek along with the fennel seeds, salt and pepper for 10 minutes until softened and caramelised.
Add in the turkey and ham (or veg if using) along with the gravy or stock and bring to a light simmer.
Add the wine, if using, as well as the dissolved cornflour mixture. Simmer away until the sauce is nice and thick for about 5 minutes, season to taste, stir through the cream, mustard and parsley and leave to cool.
Once the turkey mixture is cool enough (room temperature), pour the filling into the pie dish and brush the rim of the pastry with beaten egg.
Roll out the reserved pastry for the lid and cover the pie. Gently press and squeeze the edges together firmly to seal.
Make a small hole in the centre of the pie with the tip of a knife and glaze the top of the pie with beaten egg.
Bake on the preheated tray in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown all over and the filling is piping hot.
Serve with any leftover veg or a fresh garden salad.
Other top leftover tips!
Fry leftover potatoes and veg in a pan with some garlic, onions, chilli flakes and olive oil. Add in some fresh spinach, fresh coriander, crumbled feta and 6 beaten eggs and you have a wonderful frittata in minutes.
Leftover veg can be easily cooked up with some hot stock and blended into a soup.
Use cold turkey and any red cabbage in some delicious tacos.
Leftover stuffing and bread sauce can be combined, breaded and fried into delicious croquettes and served with a chilli and cranberry sauce.
Ham can be diced and fried instead of Pancetta for a yummy Carbonara pasta.